It took Egypt’s Karim Darwish 5 points to claim the biggest prize for a squash competition ever. The world No.3 beat compatriot Ramy Ashour 5/4 in the final of the Red Bull Squash Temple in front on the famous temple in Luxor. After two days of pool matches, it was the top 3 Egyptians Ashour, Darwish and Amr Shabana, plus Australian David Palmer who reached the semi-finals. England’s James Willstrop and Daryl Selby plus French Thierry Lincou and Amr Khaled Khalifa of Egypt failed to make the semis, but were left with $5,000 each. Darwish beat Palmer in the semis with a 5/1 win, while Ashour beat 4-times world champion Shabana 5/3. Palmer and Shabana join a $10,000 cheque while Darwish and Ashour got to 4-all in the sudden death final. Darwish’s takes the final point and the $40,000 prize fund, while Ashour was left with $20,000.
After finishing as runner-up last year, England’s Adrian Grant (pic) went one better in the 2010 Santiago Open – by winning in Santiago de Compostela. The top seeded Londoner faced Egypt’s No2 seed Omar Mosaad – and, for the 3rd time in the event, had to fight back from behind to overcome his opponent. Mosaad, the world No17 from Cairo, took the opening game – but 30-year-old Grant, ranked just a single place higher, battled back to beat the 22-year-old Egyptian 6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 12-10 after 71 minutes. The 2nd win in 2010 takes Grant’s career tally of Tour titles to 17 – one more than England team-mate Nick Matthew, the world No2.
The Australian Cameron Pilley (pic) made it ‘third time lucky’ at the Dutch Open 2010 when he defeated local hero Laurens Jan Anjema in four games. The 2nd seed made amends for losing out in the 2008 and 2009 Dutch Open finals, to England’s Nick Matthew and Daryl Selby respectively, by upsetting the seeding and denying the large home crowd a double Dutch victory. After 105 minutes Pilley won 11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 14-12 and this success might secure the Australian’s rise in the world rankings. Defeated Anjema will find himself for the 1st time ever in the world’s top-10 next month.
Dutch Vanessa Atkinson (pic) played one of her best matches to claim the Dutch Open title in Rotterdam. The 34-years-old Dutch former World Champion (2004) crowned her tournament week with an impressive straight-games win (11-9, 11-3, 11-7) over Irish Madeline Perry, the event’s second seed. The 2nd Dutch Open triumph marks Atkinson’s 24th WISPA Tour title, and makes a perfect finish of her career, while she announced her retirement for May 2011.
Dutch Open Squash
Dutch Open Squash
Cameron Pilley (pic) moved into his 3rd consecutive Dutch Open final, after beating England’s Chris Ryder in straight games (11-9, 11-5, 11-8) of the 1st semi final. Pilley, the world No.14, takes on Dutch No.1 seed Laurens Jan Anjema in his quest to make it ‘third time lucky’ after losing out to Nick Matthew (2008) and Daryl Selby (2009) in the two previous finals! In semi-final No.2 Anjema demolishes Australian Stewart Boswell, when Anjema was in total control from start to finish and hardly made anything wrong as he claimed a 11-5, 11-5, 11-1 victory to go now for his 2nd Dutch Open title after 2004.
Madeline Perry (pic) moved through to the final of the Dutch Open with a four games win over Dutch Natalie Grinham. The Irish champion took the first with ease, but Grinham was able to level the score. The next two games proved to be close affairs. Perry, the world No.6 had the better end in both games over Grinham, the former world No.2 currently ranked 67 (11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8). In the 2nd semi-final match Vanessa Atkinson kept Dutch home hopes alive, when she beat top seed Rachael Grinham with an impressive performance (11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8). Tomorrow’s final will give Atkinson the chance of revenge against Perry, after losing to Perry in the Irish Open final just two months ago!
Top seeds Adrian Grant (pic) and Omar Mosaad reached the final of the Santiago Open in contrasting styles. Egypt’s 2nd seed Mosaad taking about a third of the time of English favourite Grant to come through the semi-finals of the $31,175 PSA World Tour event in Santiago de Compostela. Mosaad, the 22-year-old world No17, was in stunning form when he despatched Finn Olli Tuominen, the 31-year-old 3rd seed from Helsinki, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 in just 24 minutes. An all-Egyptian final seemed on the cards when unseeded Mohammed Abbas romped to a 2/0 lead over Adrian Grant, the world No16 from London who was bidding to reach the final for the second year in a row. Abbas, a former world No13 from Giza, is fighting back to full fitness after a long layoff with a foot injury. But the English left-hander refused to give up and raised his game to fight back against the Egyptian – finally, after 74 minutes, clinching an 8-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6 victory.
In an all-English quarter-final 7th seed Chris Ryder (pic) defeated 3rd seed compatriot Alister Walker in 5 tough games (14-12, 5-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-8). In an all-Australian match 2nd seed Cameron Pilley also had to go for the full distance against qualifier Steve Finitsis (11-9, 13-11, 5-11, 7-11, 11-7). Dutch hero Laurens Jan Anjema kept home hopes alive, when he survived the shot-making Egypt Hisham Ashour (11-6, 5-11, 11-3, 14-12). Finally 4th seed Australian overcame German Simon Rosner 11-4, 5-11, 11-4, 11-7 to take the last semi-spot. Semi-finals line up:  Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) v  Stewart Boswell (AUS),  Cameron Pilley (AUS) v  Chris Ryder (ENG).